How to record calls on your Samsung Galaxy S2 and S3

Did you know you're only a hop, skip and an app from being able to record calls on your Galaxy S2? Find out how with our handy guide.

Alan Martin
3 min read

How many times have you ended a call with someone, only to realise that you're already starting to forget useful things you talked about? Recording calls isn't something that's offered out of the box on the Samsung Galaxy S2 or S3 -- and it seems there's a good reason for that -- but it is possible. To find out how, just follow the step-by-step instructions in this guide.

Most Galaxy S2s and S3s out there, however, will be running Ice Cream Sandwich, one of the more recent versions of Android. It's not clear why, but this version apparently only allows you to record calls from your phone's mic, which is fine for simple notes, but the person you're talking to will be muffled and very quiet.

The app I want to recommend, Total Recorder, uses a more elaborate five-step method of recording calls that gives a much better recording. Unfortunately, it doesn't work with ICS, unless you've rooted your phone, in which case, no problem.

If you don't fancy rooting and still want Ice Cream Sandwich, then the best alternative app is vRecorder: the quality isn't as good, but it's simple to use, has a neat homescreen widget and works fine regardless of rooting. Best of all, it's free.

If you want to switch ROMs, you can find our guide to the best ones here. With all that said, let's get on with using Total Recorder.

1. Legal business

Assuming you're reading this in the UK, there's no law against recording calls for personal use. You don't even need to get permission from the person you're calling, as long as no one else hears the recording.

It's slightly more complicated if you're a journalist planning on writing up elements of the recording, but if you want to get knee-deep in the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (2000) then the BBC has an excellent summary of the ins and outs here.

2. Download Total Recorder for Galaxy S2 and S3

Now that I've removed my ill-fitting barrister's wig, we can get stuck into the meaty bit. Head on over to the Google Play store and find the Total Recorder app for Galaxy S2 and S3. It costs £6, but does have a 14-day trial version available too, so it's a good idea to start here, even if recordings are capped at a minute.

The Total Recorder app for Galaxy S2 and S3

There are alternatives out there, but only this one is tailored to your Samsung phone. Also, as I mentioned, many of the alternatives only record from the microphone at low volumes.

3. Get recording!

You'll be greeted by the most hideous colour scheme known to man, so I recommend you to take the opportunity to change this to something more tasteful. Once this essential step is complete, you should take a moment to decide how you want to use the app and adjust the settings to suit.

The Total Recorder app for Galaxy S2 and S3

Do you want to record outgoing calls, incoming calls or all calls? Perhaps you just want to activate it for particular calls? Have a think and set it up accordingly: remember that the more you record, the more space you'll take up in the phone's memory.

If you choose to set it up to record every call, you'll be well on your way, so go ahead and make a test call. If all has gone to plan, your first call (probably: "Testing something, thanks, bye") will now appear in the list of saved conversations to listen to or export elsewhere.

The Total Recorder app for Galaxy S2 and S3